LONDON — Hussein Chalayan is looking to woo a new and younger audience with the launch of a stand-alone denim line for fall. The focus is on tailored, timeless styles and silhouettes inspired by the designer’s archive — and his more recent runway designs.
“There are so many ideas that I can represent in denim,” the designer said in an interview, adding that he was looking forward to “reconnecting” with certain pieces in his archive.
He also emphasized the new collection would have its own identity, and is not meant to be an add-on to his main line, which has featured denim over the past 22 years. “It’s younger than the main line — although anyone can wear certain pieces — it’s just a different thing.”
Colors include rich, dark blue, black and gray in various thicknesses. Some pieces are constructed with heavier and lighter denims blended in the same garment. Knit and jersey separates also form part of the collection.
The items all come with a signature paper label. The paper, stitched onto openings or pockets, is perforated, and can be left intact or torn, depending on the look the customer wants. Chalayan said the paper label makes every piece unique, and plays to his obsession with packaging and the idea of the “virgin” garment.
Asked about his favorite pieces from the collection, Chalayan named the classic, oversize jacket, deformed biker trousers, knitwear and tops. He also picked out the cropped, simple trousers and the classic shirt without a tail.
Other pieces in the collection include cropped, wide-leg trousers, a biker jacket with snap closures, an elegant dark blue cape with white contrast stitching and oversize, slouchy jackets with patch pockets. Retail prices range from 190 pounds, or $235, for a long-sleeve jersey top to 975 pounds, or $1,200, for the denim cape.
Tomorrow, which will distribute the line, said the Hussein Chalayan denim collection is part of its efforts to evolve its women’s ready-to-wear brand portfolio and present a complete offer, from contemporary through to designer collections. New additions to its designer rtw category for fall include Ports 1961 and Stella Jean.
It’s also taking on the luxury Japanese denim label Tu es mon Trésor, alongside Chalayan Denim.
Tomorrow operates showrooms worldwide and aims to be a one-stop shop for the labels it represents, offering distribution as well as strategic advice. It even takes small stakes in some of the companies it represents. Tomorrow has a flagship showroom in Paris and spaces in Milan, London and New York and distributes and advises more than 60 brands.
Stefano Martinetto, the founder and chief executive officer of Tomorrow, said he had very specific reasons for wanting to work with Chalayan.
“Fashion is made of cycles, most recently of short ones, and I have been lucky enough to have worked with Helmut Lang on his denim line and Raf Simons, in my career. “When I met Hussein, I felt it was time for me to work with, and support, a designer with a big, fat capital D, on his reinterpretation of curated denim. It felt like the third side of a triangle falling into place.”
The collection will be available to preview by press at the Tomorrow Showroom in Paris today.